FT Nadhim Zadawi

Minister for business and industry Nadhim Zahawi

The government has announced another £49m in funding to support the automotive industry’s transition to low-carbon technologies.

A total of 31 projects are receiving a portion of £10m from the government’s Automotive Transformation Fund, to support development of low carbon emission technologies for vehicles, such as state-of-the-art motors and high-performing batteries for electric vehicles. One winning project, Thurso+, will look at upscaling a battery cell production facility in Scotland, boosting UK battery manufacturing capability.

Meanwhile, £29m is being awarded to six projects through the government’s APC16 competition, which it is claimed will save 15.8 million tonnes of CO2. One project will develop infrastructure to collect and recycle electric vehicles and their batteries. This will boost UK capability to re-use materials from vehicles at the end of their life, such as electric vehicle batteries and the chemicals within them, with the potential to save vehicle manufacturers thousands of pounds shipping battery packs abroad for recycling.

In addition, 12 projects have been selected as part of the government’s £10m Advanced Route to Market Demonstrator (ARMD) competition, including a project led by Nissan that will implement automation technologies to quickly charge electric vehicle batteries in the factory, increasing productivity and cutting costs on its electric vehicle production line.

Minister for business and industry Nadhim Zahawi said: “The UK is leading the global battle against climate change, and by developing cleaner vehicles, our automotive industry will help make our net zero ambitions a reality.

“Backed by government funding, these trailblazing projects will help Britain to build back better by creating all-important green jobs, ensuring the sector can make further strides towards an electrified automotive future and helping to address one of the biggest challenges of our time: making transport greener.”

Transport minister Rachel Maclean said: “Today’s £49m investment in projects from retro electric motorcycles to high-power batteries, will boost our transition to zero-emission vehicles, helping us meet our greenhouse gas reduction goals and driving growth by increasing skilled jobs in the UK automotive sector.

“This funding comes hot on the heels of the £2.5bn support we have announced to encourage the take-up of electric vehicles and enhance chargepoint infrastructure across the wider roads network.”

Ian Constance, CEO of the Advanced Propulsion Centre, said: “The investment announced by the minister demonstrates the real and ongoing commitment of government and industry working together to advance the UK’s vibrant automotive technology development sector towards a fully electrified future.

“The creativity and engineering excellence in organisations receiving the latest matched funding stretches across the automotive landscape including buses, cars, motorcycles, commercial vehicles and components.

“The APC continues to provide the forum and resources for stakeholders to access global opportunities such as the UK’s potential £24bn share of the global passenger car electrification market.”